Calvin, Hezekiah

Birth: 1747 or 1748 in New Jersey
Death: After 1788
Affiliation:

Delaware/Lenape; Moor's Indian Charity School

Education:

Moor's Indian Charity School (April 9 1757-March 12 1765, and c. March 1767-May 1768)

Nationality:

Delaware/Lenape

Occupation:

Schoolteacher

Residence:

Lebanon, CT (from 1757-04-09 to 1765-03-12)

Fort Hunter, NY (from 1765-07 to 1766-09)

Lebanon, CT (from 1767-03 to 1768-05-05)

Charlestown, RI (from 1768-06-21 to 1768-08-18)

Brotherton, NJ (from 1777-05-29 to 1788)

Marital status:

Had an on-again off-again courtship with Mary Secutor, a Narragansett student of Wheelock's. Initially John Secutor, Mary's father, opposed the engagement. They did become engaged at some point, because Calvin visited the Secutors during the summer of 1768 and Mary wrote to Wheelock for advice on breaking off the engagement in November 1768, citing concerns about Calvin's infidelity. It is unclear if he ever married.

Biography:

Hezekiah Calvin was one of Eleazar Wheelock's first Native American students. Like Wheelock’s other early Delaware students, he was sent by the minister John Brainerd. Calvin was certified as a schoolteacher on March 12, 1765, and was sent to the Mohawks at Fort Hunter in June 1765. The Mohawks threw him out at the end of September 1766, and he returned to Moor's. Samuel Johnson, an Anglo-American Yale student who replaced Calvin at Fort Hunter, reported that the residents unanimously accused Calvin of being abusive and rude. Calvin, in turn, maintained that the Fort Hunter Mohawks had mistreated him. Calvin’s second stint at Moor’s did not go well. He wrote several confessions for drunkenness and bad behavior, and frequently spoke ill of Wheelock. He left the school in the spring of 1768, and took up residence with the Secutor family (Narragansett) at Charlestown, Rhode Island. Calvin left the Narragansetts sometime late in 1768, presumably after the dissolution of his relationship with Mary Secutor. Wheelock heard reports early in 1769 that Calvin had been imprisoned at Little Ease, NJ, for forging a pass for a Black man (Calvin does not appear in the county records, so either he was never indicted or Wheelock had his information wrong). By 1777, Calvin was in a position of prominence at Brotherton, NJ (a town of Christian Delawares founded under John Brainerd’s ministry). At some point after 1788, Calvin moved west with the Delawares: he may have moved directly to join the Delawares in Ohio territory, or he may have relocated to Stockbridge in 1802 and then moved west.

Documents written: retrieve them
Documents received: retrieve them
All related documents: retrieve them
Sources:

Love, Deloss. Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England. Pilgrim Press 1899. McCallum, James. The Letters of Eleazar Wheelock’s Indians. Dartmouth College Press 1932. Murray, Laura. “‘Pray Sir, Consider a Little’”: Rituals of Subordination and Strategies of Resistance in the Letters of Hezekiah Calvin and David Fowler to Eleazar Wheelock, 1764-1768.” Studies in American Indian Literatures Vol. 4 No. 2/3 (Summer/Fall 1992). pp. 48-74. Accessed via JSTOR. Spotswood, NJ History. "Weequehela-Sachem." http://spotswoodhistory.tripod.com/id10.html. Accessed 2/27/2013. Walling, Richard S. (ed). “Primary Documents Related to Brotherton Indians.” In Brotherton & Weekping: A Documentary History. Accessed via http://brotherton-weekping.tripod.com/index.html 2/14.